MORE than 20 pupils from academies in Clackmannanshire took part in a pioneering programme, aimed at developing employability skills of the future.

Six teams, encompassing 28 pupils from Lornshill and Alloa Academies, took part in the Powering Futures Schools Challenge.

They were tasked with finding innovative sustainable solutions to five real world challenges facing businesses in the present day.

The teams delivered presentations on their ideas of solution for various companies, which included Newsquest, Scottish Water, Urban Fox, British Gas and the Scottish Government.

Topics raised spanned reducing water consumption, net zero targets for sports clubs and schools, improving transport connectivity and creating trusted media on climate change.

Jennifer Tempany, co-founder of Powering Futures, said: “We were delighted to have six teams from Clackmannanshire take part in the Challenge Programme, and a special thank you to Alloa Academy for hosting us on Wednesday.

“We are always blown away by the innovation and creativity shown by pupils as they tackle some relevant challenges set by industry.”

The six teams presented their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Scottish Water, Fife Council, Marshall Construction and Petroineos at a showcase event held at Alloa Academy.

The pupils earned a SCQF Level 6 qualification from their work, which has already seen 643 pupils from 43 schools across Scotland gain the accreditation.

Keith Brown, MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, added: “Powering Futures is an organisation which works with schools and businesses to ensure that our young people are grounded in the green skills they need to work in the industries of the future.

“The pupils are Alloa and Lornshill Academies have taken on a real-world sustainability challenge set by their sponsors and researched and collaborated on a solution – presenting their solutions to a panel of industry judges at the event recently.

“I understand that Powering Futures currently supports around 35 students in Clackmannanshire, helping to future-proof their skill set, which has never been more important, as Scotland moves through a just-transition to Net Zero.

“I wish everyone taking part in the programme well, and I am sure that all pupils involved will reap the benefits in the future.”